LOS ANGELES – After a pair of close calls, Gonzaga coach Mark Few felt it was the right time to once again stress what is associated with being the top-ranked men’s basketball team in the country.
His young Zags definitely received the message.
Gonzaga rolled to its second straight easy victory Saturday, defeating Loyola Marymount 87-62. The Zags routed San Diego by 44 points two days earlier.
It definitely didn’t look like the same team that trailed at halftime against Portland and had to hold off Pepperdine during the opening week of West Coast Conference play.
“I’ve been on them that there’s accountability and honor that comes with the ranking. You have to come out and own it,” Few said. “You should prepare and play as confident as anyone. By and large, that is what we wanted to do.”
Gonzaga (18-1 overall, 4-0 WCC) had five players in double figures. Filip Petrusev led the way with 16 points, Corey Kispert added 15 and Ryan Woolridge 13.
Admon Gilder scored 12 and freshman Drew Timme recorded his first double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) as the Zags won their 10th straight overall and 22nd consecutive against the Lions (7-10, 1-2).
There were two areas of improvement Few was particularly pleased about: The Zags made a mere nine turnovers and held Loyola Marymount to 38.6% shooting.
Eli Scott led the Lions with 20 points.
Gonzaga women edge Pacific
SPOKANE – Jenn Wirth scored a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jessie Loera of Moses Lake made a free throw with 5.8 seconds left and the No. 16 Gonzaga women beat Pacific 68-67 to run their winning streak to 13 games.
“It was hard-fought; they are really talented,” Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier said. “We weren’t at our best, but we made some big plays at big moments. It’s awesome to have those kinds of wins where you have to work for it and grind it out against a really good team.”
Katie Campbell made a three-pointer with 1:44 to play to put the Zags up 65-62 and followed with a 15-foot jumper from the right elbow with 18 seconds to go to make the score 67-62.
After the Tigers reduced Gonzaga’s lead to three, Loera made one of two free throws to offset a three-pointer at the buzzer by Pacific’s Valerie Higgins.
Gonzaga (16-1, 5-0 WCC) was up 61-54 with five minutes to go but Higgins scored the next eight points to give the Tigers a 62-61 lead with 2:53 left.
Campbell finished with 15 points, and Loera and Jill Townsend had 11 each.
Wirth was 10-of-13 shooting but teammates went 11 of 41 (27%). The Zags were 20 of 28 from the foul line.
Higgins had 20 points for the Tigers (11-6, 4-2).
The victory ties the best start to a season in program history for Gonzaga, matching last season’s 16-1 mark.